January 25, 2021
News of a Harry Potter show in early development at HBO Max raises the question: what can justify another extension to an already stretched universe?
The magic question: can a Harry Potter TV show work?
When I saw the news, reported by the Hollywood Reporter, that HBO Max was in talks to develop live-action Harry Potter television series, all details and talent TBD, my first reaction was: oh no. Like many late millennials, I grew up a fan of the books – more accurately, I grew up with the books, from some of my earliest reading memories through the time I literally crashed my car while listening to the sixth installment on tape for the fourth time. But my appetite for wizarding content has waned over the last eight years or so, as unquestioned Potter standom (self-proclaimed Gryffindors and Slytherins) soured into generational parody, creator JK Rowling doubled down on her transphobic views, and the Potterverse expansion seemed less interested in the earnest fun of fan culture – the midnight premieres, the trivia board games, the rangy wikis – than the consistent wringing out of a highly lucrative franchise for paced output.
Related: Harry Potter fan sites distance themselves from JK Rowling over transgender rights
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